Bamboo fencing is not just a great way to give your backyard a fresh, tropical look. It's also an eco-friendly alternative to using conventional hardwood material. Unlike hardwood forests which can take hundreds of years to recover after being cut down, bamboo forests recover very rapidly after a harvest, without causing any environmental damage. A bamboo fence can look great during backyard barbeques and parties and adds a natural look to any home's décor. If you're looking to replace that old fence and are thinking about installing a bamboo fence, here are a few basic things to know about bamboo fencing.

Kinds of Bamboo Fencing

Bamboo fencing comes in either rolls or panels, both made of bamboo poles, typically 1 inch or a half inch in diameter, tied together with heavy-duty, galvanized wire. Obviously, the thicker the diameter, the sturdier the fence will be, but the look you want might not necessarily be compatible with sturdiness. You can also get, for example, woven or split bamboo fencing. Woven bamboo is made with thinner canes and split bamboo rolls are made from the outer layer of split bamboo poles. Do keep in mind, however, that bamboo fencing made with split or woven bamboo will last about 10 years while fencing made with ticker poles and canes will last about 20 years.

Installing on top of existing fence

If you want to install bamboo fencing on top of your existing fence, you have two options, depending on the kind of fence you already have. If you have a chain link fence, you can use rolled bamboo, either poles or canes, and wrap it around the fence, attaching it with galvanized wire at regular intervals. If you have a flat-board fence, you can wrap a split bamboo fence around it, and to attach it use heavy duty, stainless steel staples instead of galvanized wire.

Stand-alone fencing

For the best (i.e. most authentic) look, however, stand-alone bamboo fencing is the way to go. It requires a bit more work, but the results are worth it. Regardless of the style of fence you choose, you're going to have to install a vertical framework of hardwood poles upon which to install the bamboo rolls or panels. The framework poles must be hardwood because bamboo rots more easily if it remains in constant contact with the ground's moisture. This is the same reason why you have to keep a few inches of space (closed by wire-mesh) between the bamboo part of the fence and the ground.